September 24, 2022

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Jimi Solanke celebrated at 80 with week-long events

It has been an eventful week of celebration for veteran folklore singer and thespian, Jimi Solanke, as he celebrated his 80th birthday anniversary. He was born on July 4, 1942.

The series of event kicked off on July 1 with a virtual conference on the life and times of Solanke. That was followed by the launch of his biography titled, ‘Jimi Solanke: The Indestructible’, which was written by Oluwatoyin Sutton.

Shortly after the book launch, a short film titled, ‘Jimmy Show’ was premiered. The film which also documents the life of the veteran was written and produced by Ayo Adewunmi. Speaking on the film, Adewunmi said, “It is my personal tribute to Jimi Solanke; to say ‘thank you’ for all he taught me. I was his apprentice, and he taught me the rudiments of directing. He is a father and friend, and can relate with anyone.

On Saturday, July 2, a choral music fiesta tagged, ‘A Festival of Praise’ was held at the Methodist Cathedral of Peace and Excellence, Ikeja, Lagos. At the same event, there was an unveiling of Solanke’s latest album titled, ‘Oba Awon Oba’.

The event continued on the next day with a highlife music conference held virtually, as well as an on-site premiere of a documentary on Solanke in his hometown of Ipara Remo, Ogun State.

On Monday, July 4, the birthday boy hosted his family and associates in Ipara, where he unveiled and dedicated the Ibùdó-Àsà (centre for creative and performing arts enhancement).

The Lagos Jazz Society also held a physical and virtual conference on Solanke’s jazz roots .  On July 6, the reading of a play by Solanke, titled, ‘Etiti, All Eyes On You’, was held at the National Theatre, Lagos, followed by a mentoring session with the Bariga Arts Collective themed, ‘Baba Agba, The Story Merchant, which was hosted by the Crown Troupe of Africa.

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The celebration continued on Thursday, July 7, with another mentoring event at the Department of Theatre and Music, Lagos State University.

To wrap up the celebration, a tribute concert of music and art, featuring a variety of artiste and bands, was held on Friday, July 8, 2022.

The concert was preceded by a ‘Living Icons Live Drawing’ session.